Fareham MP’s controversial comments on ‘dangerous’ diversity training as a ‘new religion’ is met with divided responses - while Pride chair deems Suella Braverman’s views ‘extremely disappointing'

AN MP’S controversial views on diversity training has been met with a range of responses from people across the Portsmouth area.

Thursday, 4th August 2022, 5:08 pm
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 3:06 pm

Fareham’s MP and attorney general Suella Braverman hit national headlines this morning after the Daily Mail published her article on why she is telling her officials to ditch ‘downright dangerous’ diversity training.

Ms Braverman, who was knocked out of the Conservative leadership race on July 14, called the ‘diversity, equality and inclusion’ sector a ‘new religion’, comparing those who subscribe to that line of thinking to the ‘witch-finders of the Middle Ages’.

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Attorney general and Fareham MP Suella Braverman compares diversity training to ...
Suella Braverman. Picture: Sarah Standing (121219-3365)

Tally Aslam, chair of Portsmouth Pride, finds it ‘extremely disappointing that Ms Braverman ‘cannot see the benefit of inclusivity training’.

She said: ‘It allows a space for education and discussion which overal will build a foundation for equality for all human beings, whether or not they are part of a majority or minority group. ‘It is remarkable for her to make statements about how diversity and inclusion education is not important, when all you have to do is look at the reaction to a new Mosque opening in her constituency.

‘This news was met with a large number of hateful and intolerant viewpoints about a marginalised community.’

Richard Soutar is manager of Enable Ability, a charity which works to make a difference to the lives of disabled people in Portsmouth.

He says that is surprised by Ms Braverman’s belief that diversity training prevents feelings of ‘solidarity’ and ‘support’ and instead ‘creates a sense of ‘otherness’.

Richard said: ‘Diversity training does quite the opposite of this. It is inclusive by its very nature.

‘Diversity and inclusion from our point of view means children with disabilities being included with other children in schools, rather than being segregated.

‘Having a diversity, equality, and inclusion programme supports our aims and objectives, and helps us achieve what we are trying to achieve.’

Ms Braverman’s comments have divided readers of The News.

Some have voiced disagreement, with Lorraine Drinkwater calling Ms Braverman’s words ‘shameful’ and Peter Milne adding: ‘Clearly, she doesn't believe in equality’.

However, Clive James commented ‘Well done, totally agree’ and Deb Thompson added: ‘Most sensible thing I’ve heard’.

Amanda Smith said: ‘Good on her for scrapping this divisive process which has been hijacked by some as a tool for the most absurd and ridiculous excuses.

‘The majority of people are not sexist, racist, [ageist] or discriminative in any other form.

‘It is the sad few that are and no amount of courses are going to change their thoughts or opinions.

‘Unfortunately, you cannot fix STUPID.

‘If you witness a discriminatory act, intervene and speak up.

‘So I agree with not wasting millions of taxpayers money on a pointless tick in the box exercise which will not resolve the issues that a minority have.’